Thursday, June 5, 2008

Does the American Media Push Forward the Weakest Democratic Candidate?

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HillBuzz has been quiet this weekend, for several reasons: a brief illness, lots of phone banking into South Dakota and Montana, and three research projects we are working on to be published this week. The first of these concerns the American media's role in selecting the Democratic nominee: we believe the media deliberately pushes the worst possible Democrat in each race, thereby tilting the odds to the Republicans every time (because, despite the "liberal media" pejorative, the media conglomerates are all controlled by Republicans, so it's in their interests to have the weakest Democratic nominee possible).

Think about it:

(1) In 2004, John Edwards was the best possible Democrat of that year's crop, but the media pushed Howard Dean to take out Edwards, then backed Kerry over Dean because Dean had a better shot at winning against Bush. For whatever reason, the media seemed to want Bush to have a second term.

(2) In 2000, Gore, as Vice President, was more or less assured the nomination, but the media did everything it could to paint Gore as a delusional fool, and Bush as the guy everyone wanted to have a beer with. The media from the start clearly wanted to see Bush as President, partly because they liked the narrative of another President's son becoming President.

(3) In 1992, HillBuzz believes the media supported Bill Clinton because they felt, wrongly, that he would lose to George H. W. Bush. Clinton, with his colorful past and marital issues, was supposed to lose to "family values" Bush: but Perot spoiled that election for the Republicans. Clinton caught every break from the media leading up to the nomination, and the curveball Perot threw carried the Democrats into the White House.

(4) In 1988, Michael Dukakis, cousin of a movie star, and governor of Massachusetts, was a tailor-made Democratic failure of a candidate from the get-go.

(5) We could go all the way back to McGovern with this, and actually plan on doing just that later tonight, when we've had time to look at each of the primary contests going back to 1972. A pattern emerges here: the Democrat anointed by the media in the primaries gets a much different treatment in the general election, and loses to the Republican every time (save for the country-fried anomaly that is William Jefferson Clinton).

In 2008, from the very beginning of these primaries (if not, actually since the Democratic Convention in 2004 and Obama's much ballyhooed speech there), it's been clear the media wanted Obama to be the Democratic nominee, but not for the obvious reason many put forward (and that Geraldine Ferraro was castigated for mentioning). It's not that the media wanted to create the first viable African American nominee: it's that they wanted to engineer the greatest political implosion since George McGovern, with racial tension and exploitation as backdrop. Obama's much talked about books aren't widely read, despite the millions he's sold. We know plenty of people who own the books, but few who've actually read them (some people, it's true, just carry them around because it's popular or because it "seems intellectual" to pretend to read them). Those who have read the books are stunned by the outrageous and anti-American things Obama so casually says throughout. These vulnerabilities have been hiding in plain site this whole time: for all the talk of a Michelle Obama Racist Rant Tape (or an Obama overseas rant of his own) on sites like, the sad truth is Obama's undoing will be his own words (Just words?) when the media finally turns on him, the way it's turned on every Democrat who's ever run for President since the rise of the Big Media. Who knows, when we look into this, we might trace things back to W. Randolph Hearst and his Yellow Journalism -- and we wouldn't be surprised.

Hillary Clinton is the only Democrat in this race who can successfully run in the fall because, quite simply, the media was against her from the very beginning, and there is absolutley no further harm they can do to her. She's taken everything they have thrown at her, and she's still standing. There are no suprises left.

The woman is a dragon slayer.

But, a media comprised of men and women obsessed with becoming the next Woodward or Bernstein is a dangerous accomplice for Obama to embrace: when the time comes, the same people who fawn over him now will fight amongst themselves to bring him down, because they each wants to be the man or woman who broke the story that destroyed the latest Democratic candidate, and allowed John McCain to do the unthinkable: win in a year that Democrats can't possible lose (unless, of course, they nominate Obama).

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